The North American Cuddlewolf claims a new victim.
I’m sure you’ve already read TNC on white supremacy, but it’s AMAZING (I had amorphously disliked the Jacobin piece so I was happy to see it deconstructed with stats):
The pervasive and distinctive effects of racism are viewable at every level of education from high school drop-outs (see pages 13-14 of this Pew report, especially) to Ivy league graduates. I strongly suspect that if one were to investigate public-health outcomes, exposure to pollution, quality of public education or any other vector relating to socio-economic health, a similar pattern would emerge.
Such investigations are of little use to Johnson, who prefers ideas over people, and jargon divorced of meaningful investigation. The “black managerial elite” are invoked without any attempt to quantify their numbers and power. “Institutional racism” is presented as a figment, without actually defining what it is, and why, in Johnson’s mind, it is insignificant. “Black plunder” is invoked in Chicago, with no effort to examine its effects or compare it to “white plunder.” Johnson tells us that “universal social policies” and an expanded “public sector” built the black middle class. He seems unaware that the same is true of the “white middle class.” A useful question might arise from such awareness: Has the impact of “universalist social policies” been equal across racial lines? Johnson can not be bothered with such questions as he is preoccupied with —in his own words—“solidarity.”
I am not opposed to solidarity, in and of itself, but I would have its basis made clear. When an argument is divorced of this clarity, then deflection, subject-changing, abstraction, and head-fakes—as when Johnson exchanges“laborers” for the victims of white supremacy—all become inevitable.
I read this through my fingers (so many of today’s links came from This.cm today, by the way, you should really get on that.) Also, never, ever respond to people like this, it only demeans everyone involved:
“Dear Alan,” I responded, as generously as I could, “I’m sorry, but I can’t figure out where we know each other from. So I’m puzzled by your P.S. I’m certainly not ignoring anything, but there is a far more to read than can ever be read. When I catch up on my students, my deadlines, and new work by close friends, I’ll be sure to check it out.”
Alan was not appeased. “Your entire profession,” he wrote back, “has preferred to bury their heads in the sand and refuse to credit my literary/creative genius and/or the outrageous pedagogical stupidity that you have all implicitly supported. And either way I just want you to know that you need to think about the price of this behavior. That one day people will know that your profession is either incredibly inept and or outrageously dishonest. And either way that likely will translate into a crisis for the humanities that you likely are not nearly prepared for. So just be warned. And understand that I will be continuing to work to bring about this very unpleasant and undesirable scenario.”
If you are in NYC on March 2nd, you HAVE to go see Alex Chee (these other things sound cool too!)
LOVED these old bobbed-hair personal essays:
There has been so much controversy over the bobbed-hair craze that I feel I ought to put some of the world right, as to my side of it at least. I do not claim to be the first person to wear bobbed hair; in fact, I believe there are a number of people who, like myself, picture Joan of Arc with shorn locks! There have been several periods in history when women wore short hair. It is easier to be the first person to do a thing than the first to introduce it, and I believe I am largely blamed for the homes wrecked and engagements broken because of clipped tresses. I do not wish to take the blame, because in a great number of case I find the responsibility a serious one and the results a “chamber of horrors.”
Q. Husband is interested in a threesome with his best friend: My husband and I are in our 20s. We’ve been together over 10 years and have two kids. Our sex life is great, but my husband does masturbate a lot. He found a porn video with a girl who looks exactly like me—super creepy! He asked me several times if I had cheated on him. About a week later he asked me if I would want to have a threesome with his childhood best friend, someone I’ve known for 18 years. He said he picked him because he’s seen him naked before, and because he’s not married and not attractive (at all, eww, although my husband says he’s not THAT bad) and therefore not a threat to steal me away. I don’t know if it’s just super gross and offensive because of who he picked or if I would feel like that with anyone. We do like to get kinky, but I don’t know about this. Please help.
Jughead is asexual! It’s canon now:
Zdarsky had actually talked about Jughead’s asexuality last September during an interview with ComicBook.com. “There have been iterations of Jughead over the decades where he has been interested in girls, so there’s room to play around if someone was inclined. For me though, I like an asexual Jughead,” he said. “That’s more interesting to me than writing him as just being behind everyone developmentally.”
If you’re in Toronto in March, go to this:
Heritage Toronto and Women in Toronto Politics invite you to join us in a dynamic evening of celebrating phenomenal women and the struggle for social justice in Toronto.
Toronto the Just is an exhibit featuring the stories of eight women from Toronto’s past and present who have challenged inequality and discrimination based on gender, sexuality, race, class, and ability.
Maris on finding love (also, Josh is actually objectively great):
Before I met Josh I had lived alone for ten years, fiercely independent and somewhat proud of the regimen of weird habits and eccentricities I’d developed. I was committed to the idea that I didn’t need a man to be happy, but still, I wanted a boyfriend. I hated myself for pining for the heteronormative ideal of romance–all that stupid old shit, as Liz Phair sang in the 1994 single lady anthem “Fuck and Run.” But I did want it, with an intensity that made me feel like a subpar feminist and a failure at doing things that normal women have been doing since the beginning of time. And one of the most dismal parts of experiencing this kind of longing is that I was the victim of a certain brand of single lady concern trolling disguised as friendly advice. Everyone had words of wisdom (often unsolicited!) about how I should fix myself, as if singledom was an ailment for which I could find a cure if only I tried hard enough and took the appropriate steps to get healthy.
I’m here to tell you that I didn’t do anything differently than I normally did. I didn’t fundamentally change any part of myself to finally find a happy relationship: I didn’t read a slew of self-help books and start going to SoulCycle to Get Right. I didn’t try a new dating app or a new therapist, and I didn’t arrive at some place of spiritual enlightenment at the end of which I announced to the world, “I am ready for love,” with my arms outstretched in the air. Reader, I got lucky. That’s it. For once in my life I got phenomenally lucky. I’m still the same old me with the same insecurities and biases and hangups but now I’ve found someone I love very much who loves me back. My before and after photos look almost identical, except I’m not alone in the after one.
Everyone is re-reading this piece on what’s wrong with New Hampshire as we approach the primary, and my eyes got SO WIDE:
New Hampshire is a fraud.
Which is to say that behind that idyll of white-steepled, sleigh-belled, town-meeting, republican-with-a-small-R America lurks a much realer and hidden New Hampshire — the souvenir hustlers, backwoods cranks, motorcycle racing fans, out-of-state writers, dour French Canadians and tax-dodging Massachusetts suburbanites who have conspired as New Hampshire has conspired for two centuries to create an illusion of noble, upright, granite-charactered sentinels of liberty out of little more than a self-conscious collection of bad (if beautiful) land, summer people, second-growth woods full of junked cars and decaying aristocracy, lakes howling with speedboats, state liquor stores that are open on Sundays and the most vicious state newspaper in America — the Manchester Union Leader, which recently greeted the birthday of Martin Luther King by describing him as a Communist dupe.
Rembert on white privilege:
The sheer premise of woke is comical, since it most certainly is a myth: Once a white person has fulfilled the necessary requirements to prove a true understanding of their white privilege, they are anointed (typically by black consignees) woke. You are an elevated, “awakened” white person. The term is the evolutionary advancement of down, a once-popular way to describe a white person who understands, or is even well-versed in, certain aspects of black culture (see: Julia Stiles by the end of Save the Last Dance). While down implied the sheer knowledge of things, woke is almost this assumed, inherent understanding. One can get there in a variety of ways: a racially savvy conversation on Twitter (that certainly could have just been a private text message); a selfie of one wearing a James Baldwin T-shirt while reading Just Mercy on the train; a lengthy Facebook post about how mad one is about that thing on that day; or questioning the intentions of lesser “woke” white people. It’s funny because, in actuality, there are few better examples of white privilege than white people crafting their own perfect “woke” narrative and having it work. Or bringing nonwhite people quickly into their inner circle and using them as a stamp of authenticity. Or thinking they can defuse skepticism in their ability to grasp their own white privilege with one action — a song, a conversation, a speech, a tweet — and actually succeed.
Nicole is an Editor of The Toast.